MPharm Pharmacy

My time at Aston provided me with the vital experience that I needed to apply for a pre-reg in hospital pharmacy"


Jennifer, MPharm Pharmacy

Entry requirements

A Levels: AAB-ABB

IB: 32

This course is for you if you wish to begin a career in Pharmacy by studying at one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools. 

92% Overall Student Satisfaction (MPharm Pharmacy, NSS, 2017)
Pharmacology & Pharmacy at Aston is ranked 1st in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide, 2018)
Work based learning within hospitals, pharmacies, GP surgeries and pharmaceutical companies
Top 10 in the UK (Pharmacy, Complete University Guide, 2017 and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2017)

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placements

UCAS Code: B230

Please note:

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our MPharm programme who have the skills and capability to excel on our course. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on all previous and predicted qualifications, experience, references and motivation. Applicants are invited to a compulsory interview session where you will meet our staff, experience our facilities and we will explore your attitudes towards a career within healthcare. While we expect applicants to achieve our required entry grades, we will consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below our entry requirements for individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to and aptitude for healthcare practice (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated below).
  • This course requires all applicants to uphold professional standards of behaviour.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • GCSE requirements: Five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including English Language Grade C/4, Maths Grade B/5 and above.
  • Find out more about our admissions policy.
  • The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.
  • We do not normally accept applications from individuals who have studied on an MPharm programme elsewhere, or who have been excluded from another Higher Education Institution on Fitness to Practise grounds from any healthcare programme.
  • We are not able to accept applications for second year entry to this course.
  • Take a look at our FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.

Typical offers:

A Levels: AAB-ABB in three A level subjects, including Chemistry and at least one other science subject (Biology, Maths or Physics). General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted as part of the offer. You will also need to successfully pass the practical element of your Chemistry and at least one other science.

A level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer.  

IB: 32 points overall, to include 665 at HL, which must include Chemistry and either Biology or Physics at 6. 5 points in HL Maths or 6 points at SL Maths.


  • D*DD in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science) together with grade B in A level Chemistry. AS Chemistry is not sufficient.
  • DD in BTEC Level 3 Diploma / National Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science) or Pharmacy Services & NVQ level 3. With these qualifications we also require grades A and B in A level Chemistry and one other A level science subject.

We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who achieved five or more GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grade C or above. You must also meet the A level requirements listed above.

We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to resit your A levels (see our resit policy above).

All BTEC students will also need to successfully pass the Science practical elements of the A level they are taking.

Access to HE: We do not accept Access courses for entry to this degree.

Scottish Highers: AAABB, including Chemistry, Biology and Maths. 

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAABB including Chemistry, Biology and Maths and excluding Irish. Physics can be considered in lieu of Biology.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate course by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our courses, which include successfully passing an interview. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis. 

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirementswhich include successfully passing an interview. The minimum A level grades we normally consider for entry to Pharmacy programmes via the Foundation Programme in Science are BBC, including a B in A level Chemistry. We encourage you to apply for entry direct to the 1st year of the MPharm in the first instance. 

For 2018 entry:

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 per year
  • International students: £17,550 per year

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

Students enrolling onto this course will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check). For 2017 entry, we will be covering the costs of the required Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for all students who make the Aston MPharm their firm choice.

In line with national requirements for courses leading to a health professional qualification, this course is also subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

Discover more about DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise.

There are also further policies that all Pharmacy students must comply to and you should be aware of these before you apply:

Pharmacists are health care professionals with a strong background in sciences, whose expertise covers all aspects of the design, development, delivery, supply, control and use of drugs. Pharmacists need a broad scientific education and specialist professional training, so we have pioneered an integrated approach to teaching and learning which links professional studies to an extensive core science course.

Our 4-year MPharm degree course is specifically designed to meet the rapidly changing requirements for the practise of pharmacy. In designing and developing our Pharmacy degree we consult first with the patients we serve, then with major employers, other health professionals, our own students, the public and government bodies. 

From the start of the course you will be encouraged to apply your understanding of the scientific principles of pharmacy within a patient focussed setting, through case based workshops, problem based learning, integrated science and clinical scenarios. Our modern course benefits from substantial links with the profession including consultant pharmacists, experts from pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy entrepreneurs. Aston University also has a team of teacher practitioners based in the major Birmingham hospitals and has an established inter-professional learning network across the campus and the region.

To make sure you get off to the best start possible we provide all of our 1st year students with a lab coat, Pharmacy School name badge, tunic, and key personal laboratory equipment free of charge. In addition, for 2017 entry, we will be covering the costs of the required Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and a copy of the essential Royal Pharmaceutical Society publication “Medicines, Ethics and Practice: The professional guide for pharmacists” for all students who make the Aston MPharm their firm choice.

The aim of the pharmacy course at Aston is to give you a breadth of knowledge and a wide range of professional and technical skills, coupled with a critical ethical outlook to ensure you become an outstanding pharmacist.

Ranked in the UK's top 10 in the 2017 Complete University Guide, Aston Pharmacy excellent links with the profession. In addition, our research profile ensures relevant, expertise-led teaching for the 170 students who enrol onto the Aston University MPharm course each year.

You will benefit from a great peer support network for through our student-led Aston Pharmacy Association.

Student satisfaction for this course is very high, in fact we are ranked third for student satisfaction in Pharmacy in the 2017 Complete University Guide. Our student and graduate profiles will give you an insight in to why so many of them are happy to be part of Pharmacy and the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston.

Did you know that Aston Pharmacy School can trace its roots back to 1841?

Year 1

In the first year, you will develop the scientific knowledge which provides a basis for the pharmaceutical industry. You also start applying your knowledge to clinical situations that you might encounter in a community pharmacy as the course is patient focussed from Year 1. You will study:

  • Physiology (how the body works)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Formulation and Optimisation of Medicines: How medicines are made
  • Drug Molecules, Mechanisms and Analysis (pharmaceutical chemistry)
  • Introduction to the Practice of Pharmacy
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Patient Care 
  • Professional Studies: Effective Learning, Career Management and IT.

Year 2

The second year extends your understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences - the chemistry of different drug groups, their formulation into medicines, the pathology of major diseases and the pharmacological basis of therapeutics. You will study:

  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology: Pharmacogenomics, Pharmacogenetics and Immunology
  • Medicines Optimisation through Formulation
  • Spectroscopic Analysis of Medicines
  • Professional Workplace and Scientific  Communication Skills
  • Medicine Supply: Law and Practice
  • The Pharmacological basis of Clinical Care

Year 3 

The third year completes your study of applied pharmacology and medicinal chemistry. You will learn how drugs can be delivered to the body, and how medicines are prepared and reach the market.  You will study:

  • Neuropharmacology
  • Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity
  • Pharmaceutical Formulation III
  • Quality assured Pharmaceutical Technology: Aseptic parenteral and radio pharmaceutical delivery  
  • Medicinal Chemistry: Analysis, Metabolism and Drug Discovery 
  • Personal and professional development: preparing for your project and your pre-registration
  • Applied Clinical Skills: applying scientific knowledge to real patient cases    

Final Year

The theme of the final year is pharmaceutical practice. You will use and extend all the knowledge and skills you have developed in the previous years. You will develop confidence in applying your pharmaceutical knowledge to maximise individual patient benefit from treatment. You will also complete an extended research project. You will study:

  • Clinical pharmaceutics and drug delivery 
  • The Professional Pharmacist: Medical law and medicalisation
  • Practical Therapeutics 
  • Interprofessional learning 
  • Essential Skills: Research Project 

We are at the forefront of clinical placement and e-learning within pharmacy. Placements are integrated in to each academic year. The experiences that you will encounter are very important for the development of a wide range of practical skills and deepening your knowledge. You will also develop interpersonal skills such as working in clinical teams, managing your time and much more. You will also discover more about the career options that are available in this area.

Each year of the course includes structured practise-based placements in local hospitals, clinics or pharmacies. These will provide you with invaluable professional experience. Working with a range of health care professionals across NHS trusts gives you the opportunity to develop valuable and transferable skills for modern day pharmacy practice.

Students who enter placements in the NHS may be required to pay for DBS checks and occupational health checks.

Find out more about placement and pre-registration years in the Life & Health Sciences.

You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Hospital and other clinical/practice placements
  • Group work and problem-based learning
  • Self-study courses
  • Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) e.g. clinical patient simulations.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the four-year course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Examinations
  • Portfolio
  • Essays
  • Practical reports
  • Project work
  • Computer based assessment.
  • Interactive clinical examinations (OSCEs).
Our MPharm degree is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

The GPhC is the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. They are responsible for defining the education and training requirements for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

We are also the first and only Pharmacy School to be awarded a Regius Professorship in Pharmacy by HM the Queen.

Our degree programme has been specifically designed for employability in all areas of pharmacy – community, primary care trusts, hospitals and industry. Aston’s long established reputation and professional accreditation ensures that career prospects of our graduates are first-class. In the most recent DLHE survey, 100% of our MPharm Pharmacy graduates are in a graduate level destination within 6 months of graduating. 

We have strong links with six large NHS trusts and a range of employers from the community and primary care sectors. This means we are able to bridge the gap between the student and career pharmacist at multiple levels – giving you an informed choice of how you might specialise and develop your career.

Recent employers include:

  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Balsall Common Pharmacy
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Boots
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Cooperative Pharmacy
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Lloyds Pharmacy
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, NHS
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, Superdrug
  • Pre-Registration Pharmacist, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
  • Clinical pharmacist, NHS
  • Director, Marsden Pharmacy
  • Dispensing Assistant, Myers Adam Ltd
  • Hospital Pharmacist, Hospital Kuala Lumpur
  • Pharmaceutical Traineeship, Peterborough City Hospital
  • Pharmacist, Boots
  • Pharmacist, Hawne Chemist
  • Pharmacist, Lloyds Pharmacy
  • Pharmacist, Tesco
  • Pharmacy Technician, Boots Pharmacy
  • Project Manager, NHS
  • Rotational Clinical Pharmacist, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Senior Clinical Pharmacist, St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust.

Personal development

Our course helps you develop the knowledge and skills needed to maximise your career prospects. Communicating with patients and fellow professionals is a crucial professional skill - you experience patient contact and engage in role-playing activities. IT skills are essential and we help you develop these in our up-to-the-minute IT teaching and learning suites and in our dispensary using specialist software packages.

Communication skills 

Understanding and communicating with patients and fellow professionals is a key skill. There are many and varied opportunities to develop your communication skills throughout the programme, from essential skills modules devoted to particular aspects of communication, to the teaching, learning and assessment methods used in all other areas of the course. Such methods include role play with video feedback, individual and group presentations during workshops and problem based learning, and seminar presentations. 

Professional and personal development 

You will be encouraged to develop your areas of strength and to identify and address areas of weakness throughout the course creating a portfolio of professional practice, which you will develop during each academic year. This will provide evidence of your professional competence, and of your ability to undertake Continuing Professional Development to the standards required of all pharmacists by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

You will develop a portfolio throughout your four years which helps you identify, plan for and record your personal and professional development.

The MPharm utilises specialist teaching and research laboratories, recently refitted to very high standards in a £3m upgrade project. You will benefit from:

  • Extensive and well equipped laboratories;
  • Purpose-built dispensing practice laboratory;
  • Medicines management clinical examination suite, to support learning of modern pharmacy areas such as clinical care and prescribing. 
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment;
  • A virtual learning environment used general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. 
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form;
  • Innovative teaching methods including problem-based learning, video recording sessions, computer-aided learning and patient-simulations.

To make sure you get off to the best start possible we provide all of our 1st year students with a lab coat, Pharmacy School name badge, tunic, and key personal laboratory equipment free of charge. In addition, for 2017 entry, we will be covering the costs of the required Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and a copy of the essential Royal Pharmaceutical Society publication “Medicines, Ethics and Practice: The professional guide for pharmacists” for all students who make the Aston MPharm their firm choice.

Pharmacy teaching laboratories
All pharmacy undergraduate teaching takes place here. Usually students are analysing drug molecules; formulating drug molecules into capsules and tablets and looking at how quickly a drug is released from a tablet or capsules.

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Dispensary suite
All pharmacy undergraduate dispensing activities are taking place here. Mainly used for dispensing drug products to patients and other patient-pharmacist simulation exercises.

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Research laboratories
Mostly used for Pharmacy undergraduate research projects for designing and developing new drug formulations.

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Power handling room and tableting machine
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Whether you will need a work visa in order to be allowed to take your pre-registration year at the end of your MPharm course depends on the type of UK visa you already possess, or could obtain, and which you will use to study at Aston University. You can find out more in our briefing note for prospective MPharm students for the academic year  2016-2017 (updated information available shortly) and our visas for Pre-Registration webpages.

Pharmacy at Aston University is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences, which also includes Optometry, Biomedical Science, Biology and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There are over 50 teaching and research staff in Pharmacy with other School of Life and Health Sciences staff also undertaking Pharmacy/Life/Health Sciences related teaching and research.

Admissions Tutors: 

  • Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan - Lecturer in Pharmacokinetics
  • Dr Chi Huynh - Pharmacy Practice (Teaching Fellow)


Meet the Pharmacy team.

Discover more in the following ways:

What's next?

Student finance
Open days